Politics

Pennsylvania secretary of state asks judge to toss Trump campaign's 'desperate and unfounded' lawsuit

Key Points
  • Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar asked a judge to dismiss a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to block the state from certifying the results of the Trump-Biden election.
  • Lawyers for Boockvar argued that the Trump campaign put forward "recycled allegations" that had already been dismissed in a different court.
  • The lawsuit was filed just two days after news outlets, including NBC News, projected that Joe Biden would clinch Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes and win the election.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar speaks at a press conference regarding election vote counting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, November 5, 2020.
Mark Kauzlarich | Reuters

Pennsylvania's top election official on Thursday asked a federal judge to toss out a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to block the state from certifying the results of the election between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden.

"The voters of Pennsylvania have spoken," lawyers for Commonwealth Secretary Kathy Boockvar wrote in the 45-page motion for dismissal.

"The Court should deny Plaintiffs' desperate and unfounded attempt to interfere" with the vote-counting process, they wrote.

The hard-hitting motion railed against the "slap-dash nature" of the Trump campaign's lawsuit, which was filed just two days after news outlets, including NBC News, projected that Biden would win Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes — and thus the presidency.

The campaign had accused Pennsylvania of, among other things, ignoring "legislative mandates" by evaluating mail-in ballots "on an entirely parallel track to those ballots cast in person."

It also alleged that counties favoring Democrats were unfairly advantaged in the contest by reviewing ballots earlier and allowing voters more time to "cure" problems with their votes.

The lawyers for Boockvar, a Democrat, responded that the campaign in this lawsuit put forward "recycled allegations" that had already been dismissed in a different court.

"Court after court has rejected those theories, and this Court should do the same," Boockvar's lawyers argued in their filing in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

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The current complaint offers "a variety of unsupported allegations" related to "polling place irregularities" that don't stand up to scrutiny, Boockvar's lawyers said.

The Trump campaign's claims "constitute mere generalized grievances ... which rest upon conjectural theories of supposed harm requiring multiple leaps of logic," the lawyers wrote.

All of Pennsylvania's 67 counties must have their election results certified by Nov. 23. Boockvar must order a recount if there's a difference of 0.5% or less between the winner and the loser. But as of Thursday, Biden's lead over Trump stood at 0.8 percentage points and was expected to grow as the final batches of votes were tallied up.

The Trump campaign has until Sunday at noon to file its response to the request to dismiss. Oral arguments in the case are set for Tuesday afternoon before Judge Matthew Brann.